Students are enabled to reach their full academic potential at Gettysburg College. The campus community comes together to commend academic success annually at Celebration, a two-day symposium featuring undergraduate students’ research projects, creative activity, and community engagement.
Every year, the event illuminates the passion and intellectual curiosity of both students and faculty mentors alike through the variety of meaningful projects presented. In an environment that encourages thought and discovery, Celebration highlights the power of interdisciplinary exploration to change the world.
English major, Anika Jensen ’18 presented the following project:
Jensen was confident that she wanted to research J.R.R. Tolkien’s mythology and the Great War, but she was not sure how to approach the topic until a conversation with History Prof. Ian Isherwood. He asked Jensen if she had heard of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals. “Learning about this group of women so essential to the allied war effort made me meditate on how we perceive women at war,” Jensen said. “I wanted, then, to use my research not only to change our understanding of women characters in Tolkien’s mythology alone, but also to change our understanding of the importance of femininity and womanhood in war.”
Her research focused on the intersections of gender and the First World War in J.R.R. Tolkien’s mythology, examining his attitudes toward femininity through the lens of his military service and the cultural changes impacting British gender roles at the time.
“Through several close readings and analyses of two of Tolkien’s most contested female characters, Eowyn and Luthien, I discovered that women who choose to embrace their femininity as a source of strength have the greatest impact in the legendarium,” she said.
Follow this link to read more about projects from other students.